Decisions made by health care professionals require tools for planning, testing and assessment of new technologies or interventions. The complex structures, interactions and processes involved in health care, make change and innovation an ongoing challenge. Patrick Einzinger and Christoph Urach from DWH Simulation Services and Vienna University of Technology in partnership with the Austrian Association of Social Insurances (AASI) were given an opportunity to analyze public data for the purpose of critical future decision making.
The AASI assembled routine care data upon reimbursement of heath care providers, which includes drugs prescribed, services rendered and diagnosis. Typical statistics and mathematical modeling were considered as a tool to analyze the data, but simulation was chosen to ensure the mass amount of data could be fully utilized, thus increasing the accuracy of the analysis and results. Furthermore, AnyLogic Simulation and Modeling software was employed for its multimethod capabilities. The models built include an agent based simulation of multiple reimbursement schemes in the extramural healthcare, a system dynamics model of the consequences of group practices, and a microsimulation model for health technology assessment of screening for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA).